David L. Douglass

David L. Douglass: Attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Attorney Awards


David Douglass is Managing Partner of the firm's 100 lawyer Washington, D.C. office and a partner in its Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group. He defends companies in criminal and civil investigations and litigation.

Areas of Practice

For more than three decades, David has drawn on his criminal and civil trial experience to advise and represent healthcare and life sciences companies, government contractors and other highly regulated business in government investigations, litigation and, of course, trial. David has been lead trial counsel in federal courts, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New York. He has extensive experience defending companies and individuals in criminal and civil, False Claims Act (whistleblower), investigations and litigation.

Highly regulated companies face special challenges when confronted with a government investigation. The regulatory flexibility that characterizes administrative law clashes sharply with the rigid standards of civil and criminal laws, especially fraud laws. A practice that is well-understood and recognized in the regulatory arena can become challenging to recreate and prove in response to a whistleblower action or a grand jury subpoena. David is deeply experienced in developing the evidence companies need to demonstrate their legal compliance, in intent and in fact.

David draws upon his experience to partner with his clients to develop and implement cost-effective and practical compliance and risk management programs. When investigations or litigation arise, however, his prosecutorial and trial experience enables him to diagnose the nature of the investigation, triage the immediate needs, and develop a sound litigation plan based on the company's resources, needs and business objectives.

David is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province.

David also has experience leading complex, high-profile government investigations. In 2013, David was appointed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as deputy federal monitor over the New Orleans Police Department to guide and monitor the Department's compliance with a Consent Decree obligating the Department to transform its policing practices. In 1994, he served as executive director of the White House Security Review, which resulted in the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. In 1993 he served as assistant director of the Treasury Department's investigation of the raid on the David Koresh compound in Waco, Texas. David served as DOJ Trial Attorney, the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section. Prior to that he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

David has taught Advanced Evidence as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School and Trial Advocacy at Harvard Law School. He has written and lectured on government enforcement issues as they affect healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

David serves on the Board of the Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, which deploys the best legal talent to fight discrimination, repair the damage of racial inequity, and break down barriers to opportunity. David also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, a organization comprised of corporations, law firms and attorneys devoted to driving real progress toward creating a more inclusive legal profession through comprehensive outreach and original programming to replace barriers with bridges between legal, judicial, professional, educational and governmental institutions. He previously served on the board of Appleseed Foundation, a nonprofit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest.


•Recipient, Inaugural ABA Healthcare Section’s Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award, 2015
Super Lawyers, 2007, 2010, 2014-2018


Representative Clients


Guidant Corporation

Kaiser Foundation Health Plans

Health Care Services Corporation (formerly Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas)

Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans




•Co-author, From the Big Easy to the Big Ten, and Beyond , University Business, March 14, 2019
•Author, The False Claims Act Litigation Landscape 2019, January 2019
•Co-author, From The Big Easy to The Big Ten, And Beyond, October 2018
•Co-author, Feature Comment: Lessons Learned On The Second Anniversary Of Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, The Government Contractor, Vol. 60, No. 21 , June 6, 2018
•Co-author, Signposts In The Road: The Lawyer's Ethical Obligation to Promote Diversity In the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, 2018
•Author, Department of Justice Consent Decrees as the Foundation for Community-Initiated Collaborative Police Reform, Police Quarterly, July 2017
•Co-author, A letter from 10 former Chairs of the American Bar Association Health Law Section to the President concerning Health Care Reform Legislation, LinkedIn, March 13, 2017
•Author, The Scientific Basis for the Ethical Obligation to Require Action to Eliminate Bias and Promote Diversity in the Legal Profession, IILP Review 2017: The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, January 2017

•Author, Defending FCA Claims: Making the FCA Plaintiff Walk the Talk, The Federal Lawyer, December 2016

•Co-author, When It Comes To Crop Insurance, The FCA Bears Fruit, Law360, June 1, 2015
•Co-author, When the Government Is Your Customer: What Commercial Companies Need to Know About the False Claims Act , ABA Environmental, Mass Torts & Products Liability Litigation Committees' Joint CLE Seminar, January 2015
•Co-author, What Is a General Counsel to Do? In-House Defense Quarterly, Winter 2013
•Author, Qui Tam Litigation Defense: Three Dimensional Chess, American Bar Association's Litigating FCA Cases Teleconference, February 2011
•Author, The (Ir)Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine and Contemporary Corporate Compliance: Protecting Responsible Corporate Officers from Irresponsible Prosecution, American Conference Institute's 15th Anniversary Drug & Medical Device Litigation, December 2010
•Author, Litigating Civil Cases in the Shadow of a Criminal Investigation, DRI Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar, April 2010
•Co-author, The Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege: Preserving Privacy in the Age of Transparency, The Joan Fullam Irick Privacy Project III (IADC), 2007
•Author, U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling on the Original Source Requirement, Qui Tam Litigation Alert, March 28, 2007
•Co-author, Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Trends & Developments, Andrews White-Collar Crime Reporter, February 27, 2007
•Co-author, Exceptions to the McNulty Memo: Do They Render the Revisions Illusory? Andrews White-Collar Crime Reporter, February 27, 2007

False Claims Act Defense Blog Posts

• In Case Alleging Nationwide Pharmacy Fraud, Kmart Scores Narrow Settlement, April 17, 2018
• FCA Materiality: It’s One thing to Proclaim but It’s Another Thing to Prove, January 17, 2018
• Fifth Circuit: No Anti-Kickback Violation When Defendant Merely Hopes or Expects Referrals from Benefits Designed for Other Purposes, November 18, 2016
• DOJ Seeks Rehearing in D.C. Circuit Case, Hoping to Resurrect Liability for a Contractor’s “Objectively Reasonable” Interpretation of an Ambiguous Contract Provision, February 18, 2016
• Managed Care Plans: New Targets for Whistleblowers, October 20, 2015
• Kane et al., v. Healthfirst, Inc., et al. Is There Now a Judicially Created Return of Over-Payment Safe Harbor? September 10, 2015

Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Blog Posts

• When it Comes to Crop Insurance, the FCA Bears Fruit, April 30, 2015

Healthcare Law Blog Posts

• Escobar’s Demanding Materiality Standard Nixes $350 Million Verdict Against Florida Nursing Facility, February 5, 2018
• Supreme Court Preserves But Significantly Changes 'Implied Certification' Theory of False Claims Act Liability, June 17, 2016
• New Guidance on Contractor Self-Disclosure, August 21, 2014
• Lessons From A Cautionary Tale of Electronic Discovery Pitfalls in Health Care Litigation, July 2, 2014
• Ninth Circuit Off-Label Marketing Decision Suggests More Prosecutions Will Be Coming, March 7, 2013

Media Mentions

•‘Remarkable’ Reforms Made at NOPD, But Work on Consent Decree Remains, Judge Says
NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune , January 25, 2019
•Judge and Watchdogs Offer Verdict on NOPD Progress: 'Remarkable,' But 'Not Done Yet'
The Advocate , January 25, 2019
•Attorney Finds Rewards and Challenges as a Federal Monitor
ABA Journal , October 17, 2018
•Singing in the Rain
What's the Secret to Developing Great Client Relationships
The American Lawyer , April 1, 2017
•Lawyers Take Pride in Ancestry
ABA Journal , February 2017
•NOPD Reforms Moving Forward, Feds Say
But Many at Public Forum Say They're Too Little, Too Late
The Times-Picayune , January 28, 2015
•3 Tips For Workable FCA Release Programs
Law360 , July 25, 2014

Speaking Engagements

•Moderator, American Bar Association Washington Health Law Summit, The Impact of DOJ's New Corporate Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Strategies on Providers and Defense Counsel, Washington D.C., December 13, 2016
•Moderator, Implementation of Police Department Consent Decrees: Working Together Toward Institutional Change Conference, Tarleton State University, TX, November 4-5, 2016
•Speaker, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession's International Program, Diversity as an Ethical Obligation for Lawyers, Lausanne, Switzerland, March 29, 2016
•Speaker, ABA Health Law Section’s “Emerging Issues” conference, “Emerging Trends in False Claims Act (FCA) Damages Settlements, San Diego, CA, March 2-5, 2016
•Moderator, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession and the National Association of Women Lawyers, Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?, Washington, DC, July 15, 2014
•Panelist, American Conference Institute Inaugural Executive Forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement, A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting an Internal Investigation of a False Claims Allegation: Scoping Your Action Plan from A to Z, New York, NY, January 29, 2014
•Panelist, 31st Annual National CLE Conference, Lessons from the Trenches: Trial of a Health Care Case, Vail, CO, January 9, 2014
•Panelist, American Bar Association 2013 Washington Health Law Summit, The Evolution of the OIG, Washington, DC, December 10, 2013
•Panelist, American Bar Association National False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute, Obtaining and Using Discovery from the Government, June 5-7, 2013
•Panelist, Strafford Webinars, Qui Tam Actions: Managing Whistleblower Suits for Class Action Counsel, February 7, 2013
•American Bar Association Health Law Section’s 12th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Update, February 2011
•American Bar Association's Litigating FCA Cases Teleconference, Qui Tam Litigation Defense: Three Dimensional Chess, February 2011
•Law Education Institute’s 28th Annual National CLE Conference, Health Care Reform in Practice: Federal and State Health Care Fraud Prosecutions,” January 2011
•American Conference Institute’s 15th Anniversary Drug & Medical Device Litigation Program, Managing the New Threat that Individual Corporate Officer Liability Poses to Pharmaceutical Companies, December 2010
•DRI's Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar, Litigating Civil Cases in the Shadow of a Criminal Investigation, April 2010
•IPOA EuroConference 2010: Risk Management in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones, Key issues in establishing compliance protocols to manage risk in volatile environments, April 2010
•Panelist, ABA National Institute on Health Care Fraud, “Mediating Health Care Fraud Cases, May 2009
•Panelist, National Institute on Internal Corporate Investigations and In-House Counsel, May 2009
•Panelist, ABA Business Law Section, “Aftermath of the Financial Meltdown: - Analyzing Future Litigation and Compliance Issues, April 2009
•Law Education Institute, Health Law Program, “Representing Medical Device and Other Supplier Companies, January 2009


•The Future Is Now 2.019
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
May 16, 2019
•28th Annual National Institute on Health Care Fraud
San Francisco , May 2-4
•False Claims Act Trial Institute
Third Annual Mock Trial Hosted in Washington, D.C.

•ABA Health Law 17th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law
Winter 2016
•National False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute
Hosted by the American Bar Association
Ritz Carlton Denver, CO , June 3, 2015
•The American Bar Association 12th Annual Washington Health Law Summit
Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C. , December 9, 2014
•Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?
July 15, 2014

Areas of Practice (7)

  • Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade
  • False Claims Act
  • Public Policy and Government Affairs
  • Litigation
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Healthcare
  • Life Sciences and FDA

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.747.1904  Phone
202.747.3804  Fax
University Attended:
Yale University, B.A., 1981
Law School Attended:
Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1985
Year of First Admission:
U.S. Court of Federal Claims; 1985, Massachusetts; District of Columbia


•American Bar Association: Health Law Section, Fraud and Abuse Interest Group - Vice Chair; Administrative Law Section, Criminal Process Committee - Member and former Co-Chair; Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity - Member; Foundation fellow
•DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar: Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee - Chair
•The Bar Association of the District of Columbia
•Advisory Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession - Member
•National Bar Association
•Litigation Counsel of America

Reported Cases:
Representative Matters:Counsel for Boston Scientific in defense of False Claims Act litigation against predecessor company.;Successful defense of corporate executive who was a target in investigation of alleged export control violations.;2006: Successful trial defense of defendant in the first qui tam trial arising from contracting in Iraq. (Federal Court, Eastern District of Virginia);2005: Jury verdict on behalf of Health Care Services Corporation in the first indirect-purchaser antitrust case to proceed to trial. (Federal Court, District of Columbia);2003: Successful defense of a national healthcare provider against allegations of violations of the Medicaid Rebate Statute. (No indictment sought);2002: Trial defense of individual charged with violation of the Arms Export Control Act. (Federal Court, District of Maryland, Baltimore Division)

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (1 review)
Peer Reviewed
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience


*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (3)

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Washington, District of Columbia

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